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Hadlow Castle

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Location type: Castle
Location address: United Kingdom, Tonbridge and Malling
Number of texts: 1
3 stars
Made by | Reference PEARroots | © CC 3.0
Made by | Reference | © CC 3.0

Hadlow Castle replaced the manor house of Hadlow Court Lodge. It was built over a number of years from the late 1780s, commissioned by Walter May in an ornate Gothic style. The architect was J. Dugdale. his son, Walter Barton May inherited the estate in 1823, and another inheritance in 1832 from his wife’s family. He added a 170 feet (52 m) octagonal tower in 1838, the architect was George Ledwell Taylor. A 40 feet (12 m) octagonal lantern was added in 1840 and another smaller tower was added in 1852. This was dismantled in 1905. Walter Barton May died in 1858 and the estate was sold. Subsequent owners were Robert Rodger, JP, High Sheriff of Kent, in 1865. He died in 1882 and the castle was bought by Dr. MacGeagh, a Harley Street specialist in 1891. He would drive in his carriage to Tonbridge and catch the train to London thus being an early commuter. The castle passed to T E Foster MacGeagh and he sold it in 1919 to Henry Thomas Pearson, whose family occupied it until 1946. During the war it was used as a watchtower by the Royal Observer Corps. The unoccupied castle changed hands several times after the Pearsons’ left, and was demolished in 1951, except for the servants’ quarters, several stables and the Coach House, which was saved by the painter Bernard Hailstone. The Tower was already a Listed Building, having been listed on 17th April 1951.  Now the entrance gateway and lodges of the Castle still stand - a heavy Gothic presence on the street - as does the Stable Court with two turreted pavilions, which are all in private ownerships, and new homes have been built in the grounds.

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